The Daily Bankroll Challenge

by Seth Merrow
Matching wits--and a mythical bankroll--with the top handicappers

2006 Racing Season

Saratoga Race Course
Tuesday, September 5, 2006
Total for the meet... $553.30

Complete archive of 2006 daily Best Bets picks and plays pages.


Regular Best Bets Bankroll Challenge readers know that the last three or four days of the meet have been "go-time" for us over the past two years. It almost happened again.

In 2004 we turned $492.60 into $1038.60 from Thursday to Monday. In 2005 we went from $468.05 on the final Wednesday to finish with $985.30 -- even crossing the magic $1000.00 threshold early on Monday, but we didn't have a "stop-bet" order so we dipped just barely back below the break-even point, just missing an exacta in the finale that would have done the trick.

And so we approached the last week this year with confidence. We started last Wednesday with $315.05. Our final total of $553.30 equates to a last week ROI of 75%. Pretty good, but it could have been better.

With only some modest adjustments to our closing day wagers -- or perhaps some racing luck, we could have perhaps gotten the job done.

Can't complain about the start to our day as a Sheppard Special scores at 8-1. However, in one of the first incarnations of our wagering menu we had that one for a $20WP. But again, we can't really complain about the 1st because that was a solid WP and our plays on the exacta were spot-on -- and frankly, the place-photo was this-close to going against us!

We went into the 2nd race with an $18.60 winner topping our potential doubles. Our main play was the $10 DD with the favored Mott entry Vowel/Tiz Holly. The "will-pay" on that double was $65.00/$2. A win by Mott's entry would have put another $325.00 in our bank. Unfortunately Vowel had some trouble early, made a run late but flattened out to finish fourth. However, we had backed ourselves up with some other, smaller doubles and so the win by 13-1 Limoncella wasn't a total loss.

The only tinkering here that might have been fruitful would have perhaps been another $1 DD using our top pick in the first with the five in the 2nd. That would have only cost another $5 and would have brought back an extra $113.00.

No excuses in the 6th or the P6 or P3 plays, they just didn't have it -- although the race 6-8 P3 had two winners in the mix. If only one of our four in the 6th could have gotten the job done that would have helped the cause.

In the 8th we might have taken the four we boxed in the tri and also put in an exacta box -- but frankly, the while $71.00/$2 was nice we probably wouldn't have been too deep there so that wouldn't have really added much to the bankroll.

Moving to the 9th however. Latice was really one of our plays-of-the-day and that was obvious by the $50WP. At 7-1 if Latice had managed to win we would have banked an additional $400.00. The race set up nicely for winner Noble Stella however, but ours was a clear second.

And here's where perhaps some exacta, tri action would have helped. With Louve Royale running third, that meant our top three picks completed the $268.00 tri, not to mention the $71.00 exacta. Some type of exacta play similar to what we did in the 1st certainly wouldn't have been out of the question. A $4 exacta would have returned $142.00. And perhaps a buck on that tri would have added $134.00.

In the 10th, no complaints, we took a shot with a super to end the season and they weren't good enough.

There's always some woulda-coulda-shoulda in this game -- but there really were a few reasonable modifications we might have made that could have helped our cause. Live and learn.

Once again however, the last few days of the meet proved to be exciting and, like a golfer getting that birdie on the 18th, we look forward to next year...

RACE ONE... $10 WP on Prep School.
Collected $128.50 on the WP [18.60, 7.10].

...$4 exacta box... Prep School/Operation Red Dawn/Ryan Is Flying.
Collected $105.00 on the ex box [$52.50/$2].

...$1 exacta box... Prep School/Operation Red Dawn/Ryan Is Flying/Dancing Forever.
Collected $26.25 on the ex box.

RACE 1/2... $10 DD... R1/Prep School... R2/Vowel.
Ran 1-4.

...$1 DD... Prep School/Operation Red Dawn/Ryan Is Flying/Dancing Forever... R2/Vowel/Mama Bear/Sophie's Salad/Limoncella/Nootka Island.
Collected $113.00 on the DD [$226.0/$2... Prep School 8-1/Limoncella 13-1].

RACE SIX... $10 WP on Hapid Ralo.
Ran 5th at 5-1.

...$4 exacta box... Hapid Ralo/Moorebella.
Ran 5-7.

RACE 5-10... $2 P6... R5/Iron Goddess... R6/Hapid Ralo/Moorebella... R7/AP Jewel/Swirling Solomon... R8/Pure Incentive... R9/Latice/Louve Royale... R10/Say Revain.
Ran R5/WON... R6/5-7... R7/4-6... R8/2nd... R9/2-3... R10/6th.

RACE 6-8... $1 P3... R6/Hapid Ralo/Moorebella/Baymont/Urbane Hustle... R7/AP Jewel/Swirling Solomon/League of Nations/Watchtower... R8/Pure Incentive/Doryphar-Eden's Causeway/Moya/Crystallize.
Ran R6/3-4-5-7... R7/WON-4-6-8... R8/WON.

RACE EIGHT...$5 WP on Crystallize.
Ran 9th at 12-1.

... $1 tri box... Pure Incentive/Doryphar-Eden's Causeway/Moya/Crystallize.
Ran WON-2-6e-8e-9 [e=entry].

RACE NINE... $50 WP on Latice.
Collected $180.00 on the WP [xxx, 7.20].

RACE 9-10... $5 DD... R9/Latice... R10/Say Revain/Democrat/Mr Bourbon Street.
Ran R9/2nd... R10/3-5-6.

RACE TEN... $1 super key Say Revain over Democrat/Mr Bourbon Street/Brave Sir Robin/Sultry City.
Ran 6/3-4-5-7.

Profit for the day... $185.75


No racing. See you next year.

All turf wagers are turf only

Total bet...$

If we are interested in both halves of an entry -- in event of a scratch -- it is noted that way [in other words, both halve are named]. If only one-half of the entry is named, then we prefer that half and will move to our next pick listed [rather than the other half of the entry] in event of a scratch.
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